Since 2003, the VALORĒS Research Institute has been working on a lobster hatchery and stocking project in conjunction with Homarus, research and development subsidiary of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. Thus, female lobsters caught by fishermen are placed in tanks and produce thousands of larvae reared in optimal conditions up to a size allowing them to be released into the sea. Thanks to this partnership, more than 6 million small lobsters were seeded in several regions of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Daniel Blanchard, CEO of VALORĒS, indicates that this project is a good illustration of the role of VALORĒS as an applied science institute, which consists in bridging research and its practical application in industry. We are proud to be able to provide scientific resources and our facilities to secure the future of the lobster industry.
According to Gisèle Lévesque, Executive Director of Homarus, “This initiative would have been very difficult to put in place without the partnerships generated by the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. This project is a good illustration of the power of cooperation and the benefits it derives not only from MFU members, but also from all coastal communities that depend on fishing. ” Ms. Lévesque recalls that the lobster landings represent significant economic benefits for New Brunswick.
Yves Hébert, director of operations at VALORĒS whose offices are at the Marine Center, says that despite an uncertain start to the fishery this year, it has been possible to recover more than half a million lobster larvae. “The collaboration of the fishermen is wonderful, they are proud of it and they understand very well that this is an investment in the future.”
The director of the NB Aquarium and Marine Center, Roger Robichaud, emphasizes that “the public only sees about 50% of the facilities, the backstage pools are high-level laboratories that contribute to the advancement of industry by harnessing scientific knowledge. Controlling this environment requires specialized technical and scientific knowledge. The skills of VALORĒS reinforce those of the Aquarium. ”
Daniel Blanchard specifies that VALORĒS is an institute for research and laboratory analysis services. In addition to the Homarus project, VALORĒS is also working on other species with partners across the Atlantic. “With the University, NBCC, Aquarium and Maritime Industrial Park close by, we have an exceptional set of marine science tools and talents that allows us to put science to work for the industry and communities,” concluded Mr. Blanchard.